To be prosperous is, I suppose, what most people desire; but as our lives are in accordance with our desires, we must, if we wish for a happy and prosperous life, look to it that our desires are honest, straightforward, and pure.
If we cherish resentment, and are unkind to, or even careless of others, we cannot expect to be prosperous and happy; in other words, we must "reap as we sow." It is illogical to expect to enjoy good things in our own lives, if we give bad things to others—but I suppose few of us would plead guilty to giving bad things to others, for we, as a rule, give too little thought to such matters; but have we always kind thoughts of those around us, and do we always do to others just as we would be done by? I think we all come in contact occasionally with persons who are not kind, or agreeable, or considerate to us, and are we always calm under their treatment, or do we allow ourselves to be irritated by them or to be indignant, or angry? Very often I fear we do allow ourselves to resent the trials of life, and resentment and anger can bear no good fruits, and still less can habitual thoughts of envy, malice, spite, and covetousness. "Thou hast given him his heart's desire"—these words are equally true of the good and of the evil, for by wishing evil to others a man is most surely drawing it upon himself; and then he will realize the truth of the words of Moses, "If thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God—thou shalt not prosper in thy ways." Therefore we must resolutely set ourselves to conquer our faults and failings, and then our outward life will conform to the inner, in improved conditions. St. John understood fully how exactly our outer lives correspond if to our inner state, as is shown by his writing, "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper, and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth." And when we learn at last to subdue our angry passions, and control our evil thoughts and inclinations, they will gradually die out and their place will be filled by kindness, temperance, humility, and love. Happiness and joy, serenity and peace, will then be our everlasting portion. "They shall prosper that love Thee" (Psalm 122:6).
Empty close; they only live
Richly who can richly give.
Love, that self-forgetful gives,
Sows surprise of ripened sheaves;
Late or soon its own receives.